Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook S7110 review

£1199
Price when reviewed

The Lifebook S7110 and Tecra M5L are the odd ones out in this Labs. Sporting 14in non-glossy, non-widescreen TFTs and integrated Intel graphics chipsets, they’re aimed more at business users than consumers.

Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook S7110 review

The S7110 is the most portable here, weighing only 2.1kg. It doesn’t sacrifice many components either – there’s a DVD writer, 80GB hard disk, WLAN, Gigabit Ethernet, a V.92 modem and a decent array of ports and slots. All that’s missing compared to the Toshiba is an SD/MMC card reader and Bluetooth.

Fujitsu Siemens’ Core Duo T2500 is marginally quicker than Toshiba’s T2400, and the S7110 has an extra 512MB of RAM, being faster, too, at 667MHz. In our application benchmarks, this led to the S7110 scoring 0.97 overall, while the M5L finished with 0.88.

Both machines have dual pointing devices, offering a choice of touchpad or pointing stick. The Toshiba feels better built than the Lifebook, but the S7110 edges ahead in terms of style. The Lifebook’s keyboard has so many labels on each key, it’s hard to use if you’re not a touch-typist; it’s also bouncier than the Tecra’s.

More of a drawback is battery life. Both machines will last around two hours with heavy use, but the S7110 gives up after 3hrs 34mins of light use, while the Tecra will go on for almost five hours. You can buy a second battery for the Lifebook, giving several hours’ more use, but it replaces the DVD writer. There’s also an Eco button, which can switch off any combination of the PC Card slot, FireWire, hard disk and DVD writer to eke out extra minutes.

However, the Lifebook has a higher-resolution TFT: 1,400 x 1,050 versus the Toshiba’s 1,024 x 768. It provides more Desktop space, but the backlighting wasn’t even and viewing angles were more limited than the Tecra’s.

Being business notebooks, the S7110 and M5L have fingerprint readers, docking station ports and Windows XP Professional. They also both come with three-year collect-and-return warranties.

Ultimately, they’re both very similar notebooks, but the Lifebook’s high price means the Toshiba is the obvious choice if you’re after a relatively portable notebook for business use.

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